A Season for Sharing in Fire Safety
Each year fires occurring during the holiday season injure
2,000 individuals and cause over $500 million in damage.
There are simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a
safe and happy holiday. By following some of the outlined
precautionary tips, individuals can greatly reduce their
chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty.
UNITED STATES FIRE ADMINISTRATION HOLIDAY WEBSITE
NFPA WINTER HOLIDAY SAFETY PDF
Preventing Christmas Tree Fires
WATCH A CHRISTMAS TREE FIRE VIDEO
CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY PDF
Special fire safety precautions need
to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning
tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.
Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull
back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the
tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the
touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk
on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut
too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a
fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree,
causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for
longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water
at all times. (WATER THAT TREE)
Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood
burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a
recycling center or having it hauled away by a community
Maintain Your Christmas Lights
Christmas lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps
in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive
kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting
listed by an approved testing laboratory.
Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the
directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to
an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be
warm to the touch.
Do Not Leave Christmas Lights on
All decorations should be nonflammable or
flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.
Never Put Wrapping Paper in a Fireplace
It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical
buildup in the home that could cause an explosion.
- Use Only Nonflammable Decorations
Artificial Christmas Trees
If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure
it is flame retardant.
Avoid Using Lit Candles
If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders
and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never
leave the house with candles burning.
Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree
Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame -
candles, lighters or matches.
Finally, as in every season, have working smoke alarms
installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and
keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all
times. Know when and how to call for help. And remember to
practice your home escape plan.
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Bloomfield Township, Michigan
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